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Enhanced Multisensor Precipitation Estimator and Nowcaster. Improving WFO Flash Flood Services. Richard Fulton, Feng Ding, and Shucai Guan Hydrologic Science and Modeling Branch Hydrology Laboratory Office of Hydrologic Development National Weather Service

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enhanced multisensor precipitation estimator and nowcaster

Enhanced Multisensor Precipitation Estimator and Nowcaster

Improving WFO Flash Flood Services

Richard Fulton, Feng Ding, and Shucai Guan

Hydrologic Science and Modeling Branch

Hydrology Laboratory

Office of Hydrologic Development

National Weather Service

NWS Office of Science and Technology Seminar Series

April 5, 2006

the current multisensor precipitation estimator mpe
The Current Multisensor Precipitation Estimator (MPE)
  • An automated & interactive algorithm that estimates one-hour rainfallending at the top of the hour on a ~4-km HRAP grid using WSR-88D Precip. Processing System’s (PPS) Digital Precipitation Array (DPA) products
  • Multisensor…uses rain gauges and GOES satellite to reduce existing biases in WSR-88D rainfall estimates and produces a suite of radar-gauge-satellite rainfall products
  • Produces regional mosaics from any desired number of WSR-88Ds

For more details, see the Lab’s MPE Training Workshop at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hrl/papers/papers.htm#wsr88d

the current multisensor precipitation estimator mpe cont
The Current Multisensor Precipitation Estimator (MPE)(cont.)
  • Delivered in AWIPS to RFCs in 2002, WFOs in 2004, to replace and improve upon the existing Stages II & III Precipitation Processing algorithms
  • Designed primarily for RFC use
  • Primary input to RFC and WFO hydrologic forecast models (NWS River Fcst System NWSRFS and Site Specific Hydr. Predictor SSHP … but not Flash Flood Monitoring & Prediction FFMP)
mpe product suite
MPE Product Suite
  • Radar-only rain mosaic
  • Gauge-only rain mosaic
  • Satellite-only rain mosaic (from NESDIS)
  • Mean field bias-adjusted radar rain mosaic using rain gauges
  • Local bias-adjusted radar rain mosaic using rain gauges (two different methods)
  • Multisensor merged radar+gauge mosaic
  • Multisensor merged radar+gauge+satellite mosaic (coming soon)
wfo vs rfc requirements for precipitation products
Mainstem river forecasting

4 km resolution (HRAP)

1 hour updates of hourly rain

Multisensor mosaics of rainfall accumulation

Routine manual quality control is modus operandi

MPE products

Flash flood monitoring & warning

1 km resolution (1/4 HRAP)

5-15 minute updates of sub-hourly and longer rain

Multisensor mosaics of rainfall and rain rates

Routine manual quality control may not be feasible

Enhanced MPE (EMPE) products

Multisensor Precipitation Nowcaster (MPN) products

WFO vs. RFC Requirements for Precipitation Products

RFC

WFO

enhanced mpe empe is an experimental prototype with new features for wfos
Enhanced MPE (EMPE) is an Experimental Prototype with New Features for WFOs

Same multisensor rainfall estimation technology & products as in MPE, but with …

  • Higher spatial resolution – ¼ HRAP (~1 km)
    • vs. 1 HRAP (~4 km) in current MPE
  • Higher temporal rainfall resolution – 5-15+ minute rainfall duration
    • vs. one hour in current MPE
  • More frequent updates - 5-15 minutes
    • vs. once per hour at top of hour in current MPE
  • Greater flexibility
    • User configurable and “backward compatible”
history status of empe
History & Status of EMPE
  • Initial need identified and AHPS EMPE funding proposal written by Fulton in 2002 and funded FY 2003-2006
  • Project plan developed and distributed for review in 2002
  • Initial EMPE prototype was completed in 2004 by HSMB’s Hydrometeorology Group (F. Ding, S. Guan, R. Fulton)
  • In 2004, we set up a real-time 24x7 demonstration in HL for 5 WSR-88Ds in mid-Atlantic region (Sterling KLWX, Pittsburgh KPBZ, Charleston KRLX, Blacksburg KFCX, Wakefield KAKQ)
    • Web page displays real-time graphical output products
  • EMPE project is in OSIP Stage 2
radar only 15 min rainfall mosaic
Radar-only 15-min. Rainfall Mosaic

1-km grid (EMPE)

4-km grid (MPE)

empe details
EMPE Details
  • Uses PPS’s Digital Storm-total Precipitation (DSP) products from multiple radars covering CWA as input
    • Cumulative rainfall updated every volume scan (~ 5 minutes)
    • 1 deg x 2 km (higher resolution than 4-km DPA)
      • 1 deg x 1 km in future (existing HOSIP project)
    • Digital 256-level equivalent to the Storm Total Precip (STP) 16-level graphical product
  • Differencing of DSPs produces rainfall durations of any arbitrary duration (5 min. to 24+ hours)
    • DPAs cannot provide durations other than whole 1, 2, 3, … hrs.
  • Demonstrated ability of differenced DSPs to replicate DPA hourly rainfall on HRAP grid
  • Also uses PPS’s Digital Hybrid Scan Reflectivity (DHR) products to compute instantaneous rain rates
  • Both are remapped and mosaicked onto ¼ HRAP grid (~1 km)
hourly rainfall from dpas and differenced dsps matches well
Hourly Rainfall from DPAs and Differenced DSPs Matches Well

One-hour rainfall for mid-Atlantic regional mosaic on 4-km HRAP grid

  • Random differences may be due to:
  • Slight differences in polar-to-HRAP remapping software between PPS and EMPE
  • Temporal interpolation
empe data flow
EMPE Data Flow

WSR-88D

reflectivity

PPS

DHRi and DSPi

Rain gauges

Satellite rain

products

EMPE

Lightning data

User params.

Multisensor Rain

Products

real time web page http www nws noaa gov ohd hrl hag empe mpn
Real-time Web Pagehttp://www.nws.noaa.gov/ohd/hrl/hag/empe_mpn/

Sample EMPE products

empe user configuration vision is one configurable empe that serves both wfos and rfcs
EMPE User ConfigurationVision is One Configurable EMPE that Serves both WFOs andRFCs
  • Choose desired spatial grid resolution
    • ¼ HRAP or 1 HRAP
  • Choose desired rainfall durations
    • Rainrates,15 min., 30 min., 1 hr., etc. rainfall durations
  • Choose desired run-time delay (~minutes)
    • May depend on each product
    • Gauge-adjusted products may need longer time delays
  • Choose a product generation schedule that satisfies your requirements…
empe user configuration cont a sample product generation schedule
EMPE User Configuration (cont.)A Sample Product Generation Schedule

Etc.

RMOSAIC: Radar Mosaic BMOSAIC: Bias-adjusted Radar MMOSAIC: Multisensor Mosaic

empe considerations
EMPE Considerations
  • Increased CPU, memory, disk space, and communication bandwidth requirements
  • Digital Storm-total Precipitation (DSP) product issues
    • Wide area distribution is necessary from multiple non-associated radars for mosaicking (DHR also)
      • Revising an existing WSR-88D Request for Change (RC)
    • Don’t apply G-R bias to DSP
      • PPS code needs to be revised; RC was submitted in Feb.
  • Rain gauge issues
    • Rain gauge data is a double-edged sword that requires QC before use
    • WFOs often don’t have resources to do real-time manual gauge QC as at RFCs
    • Automated quality control methods are critical
empe will be integrated within nws hydrologic operations
EMPE will be Integrated within NWS Hydrologic Operations
  • On-going science infusion in PPS will be reflected in downstream EMPE products (e.g., Range Correction Algorithm RCA, rainrate-dependent bias adjustment, dual polarization)
  • Science infusion in MPE is on-going (e.g., probabilistic QPE, satellite QPE)
  • Provides all necessary input to drive the Multisensor Precipitation Nowcaster
  • Enables/enhances high resolution distributed hydrologic forecast modeling and other flash flood tools (distributed hydrologic forecast models, FFMP, flood inundation mapping)
types of radar qpe adjustments
Types of Radar QPE Adjustments
  • Adjustments using radar data
    • Range-related biases
      • Experimental Range Correction Algorithm (RCA)
      • Beam broadening
    • Rain rate-dependent biases
      • see Probabilistic QPE final report on our web page
  • Adjustments using rain gauges
    • Radar-wide mean field bias (MPE’s Bmosaic)
    • Local bias (MPE’s Lmosaic, P3)
    • Multisensor merging (MPE’s Mmosaic)
  • Adjustments using satellite QPE
    • Multisensor merging (radar+gauge+satellite; under development for MPE)
slide21
Implemented

Not Yet

Implemented

Proposed End-to-End Sequence of Bias Correction Procedures in EMPE/MPN

ORPG

AWIPS

PPS

PPS

EMPE

EMPE

Radar Total Rain

“DSP”

-single radar

-polar grid

-no adjustments

Range-corrected

Radar Total Rain

“DSPR”

-apply RCA

corrections scan-to-

scan in PPS if desired

Range-corrected

Radar Increm. Rain

“RainR_d”

-compute incremental

rain for any duration d

by differencing

Range-corrected

Inc. Rain Mosaic

“RmosaicR”

-mosaic multi-radars

on 1/4th HRAP grid

Rainfall

EMPE

EMPE

PPS

Radar Rainrates

“DHR”

-single radar

-polar grid

-no adjustments

Range-corrected

Rainrates

“DHRR”

-Apply RCA

corrections if desired

Range-corrected

Rainrate Mosaic

“RRmosaicR”

-mosaic multi-radars

on 1/4th HRAP grid

Rain rates

RCA/CSSA

Range Adjustment

Factor Array

“AFA”

slide22
Implemented

Not Yet

Implemented

Proposed End-to-End Sequence of Bias Correction Procedures in EMPE/MPN (cont.)

AWIPS

EMPE

EMPE

EMPE

Local Bias &

Range Adjusted

Increm. Rain Mosaic

“LmosaicR_d”

-Apply local gauge bias

corrections for duration d

LB/Rng Adjusted

Multisensor Rain

Mosaic

“MLmosaicR_d”

-Apply multisensor merging

using gauges for duration d

Mean Field Bias &

Range Adjusted

Increm. Rain Mosaic

“BmosaicR_d”

-Apply MFB gauge bias

corrections for duration d

for each radar

Rainrate Adjusted &

MFB/Rng Adjusted

Increm. Rain Mosaic

“BmosaicRR_d”

-Apply rainrate bias

corrections for duration d

Rate/MFB/Rng Adj.

Multisensor Rain

Mosaic

“MmosaicRR_d”

-Apply multisensor merging

using gauges for duration d

FFMP

HL-RDHM

NWSRFS

SSHP

Mean Field Bias &

Range Adjusted

Rainrate Mosaic

“RRmosaicRB”

-Apply MFB gauge bias

corrections for each radar

Rainrate Adjusted &

MFB/Rng Adjusted

Rainrate Mosaic

“RRmosaicRBR”

-Apply rainrate bias

corrections

MPN

looking into the future to increase flash flood warning lead times
Looking into the Future to Increase Flash Flood Warning Lead Times
  • Rainfall nowcasting: Extrapolating current (radar) rainfall observations into the very near future (1-3 hours)
    • Predictability of rain depends on predictability of rainfall system…convective vs. stratiform & seasonal dependence
  • NWS currently has no rainfall nowcasting capability that is integrated quantitatively within hydrologic fcst operations
    • SCAN Categorical QPF algorithm, WSR-88D Storm Cell Identification and Tracking (SCIT) used for visual analysis only
    • UK Met Office has been doing this for a while
  • Even simpler automated nowcast techniques have potential to move us to the next flash flood warning performance level(possibly ~ten minutes vs. current few minutes)
    • We can automate and quantify what goes on in a forecaster’s head when they view radar loops
multisensor precipitation nowcaster mpn for flash flood forecasting
Multisensor Precipitation Nowcaster (MPN)- For Flash Flood Forecasting -
  • Automatically produces deterministic 1-hr rainfall forecasts and flash flood threat probabilities using extrapolation techniques
  • 4-km forecast grids, updated every 5-15 minutes as needed
  • Multisensor – uses WSR-88D radar with rain gauge-based mean field bias adjustments
  • Regional – uses mosaicked WSR-88Ds covering the county warning area
  • Is integrated with EMPE; EMPE produces all necessary input data to drive it
history and status of mpn
History and Status of MPN
  • MPN is an extension of HL’s Flash Flood Potential (FFP) algorithm
    • FFP was originally single-radar, single-sensor
    • AHPS supported the upgrade to multiradar, multisensor using EMPE product input
  • Initial AHPS funding proposal for MPN written by Fulton in 2002 and funded FY 2003-2006
  • Project plan developed and distributed for review in 2002
  • Initial MPN prototype was completed in 2004 by HSMB’s Hydrometeorology Group (S. Guan, F. Ding, R. Fulton)
  • In 2004, we set up a real-time 24x7 demonstration in HL for 5 WSR-88Ds in mid-Atlantic region (Sterling KLWX, Pittsburgh KPBZ, Charleston KRLX, Blacksburg KFCX, Wakefield KAKQ)
  • Web page shows real-time graphical output products
  • MPN project is in OSIP Stage 2
mpn has two components
MPN has Two Components
  • Rainfall Projection algorithm
    • Produces 1-hour gridded rainfall nowcasts based on extrapolation of recent WSR-88D and rain gauge observations
  • Flash Flood Threat Assessment algorithm
    • Computes observed and forecasted gridded probabilities of exceeding 1-, 3-, and 6-hr Flash Flood Guidances (FFG)
mpn data flow
MPN Data Flow

User

adaptable

params.

Multisensor Precipitation Nowcaster

Bias-adj

rain rate

mosaics

Projection

EMPE

Bias-adj

15-min rainfall

mosaics

RFC1 FFG

Assessment

Gridded

FFG mosaic

RFC2 FFG

Products

RFC3 FFG

mpn details
MPN Details

Pt. 1: Rainfall Projection Algorithm

  • Generates one-hour rainfall nowcasts on HRAP grid (~4 km) with 5-15 minute update frequency as needed
    • Meager justification currently for going to higher spatial resolution
    • Extending forecasts beyond 1 hour is easily doable, but accuracy degrades quickly beyond ~1 hour in summer convection
  • Local pattern matching technique using two consecutive gridded radar rain rate mosaics ~15-20 minutes apart produces local storm motion vectors
    • Vectors delineate storm motion at a ~20 km grid scale
    • Automated vector quality control
  • Advect and integrate current mean field bias-adjusted rain rate mosaic one hour into future using observed storm vectors
    • Several progressive spatial smoothing options are available to minimize forecast error
  • Local lagrangian storm growth and decay can be accounted for in forecasts if desired
mpn details32
MPN Details

Pt. 2: Flash Flood Threat Assessment Algorithm

  • Compares both observed and forecasted rainfall with 1, 3, and 6-hr FFGs on the HRAP grid
    • Could be enhanced to do basin averaging if integrated into FFMP
  • Computes both observed and forecasted gridded probabilities of exceeding FFGs
    • Maximum exceedance probabilities of all three durations (1-hr, 3-hr, 6-hr),
      • e.g., 3-hr forecast exceedance probabilities are computed from 2 hours of past observed rain and 1 hour of forecast rain and then compared with 3-hr FFGs
    • “Storm-total” exceedance probabilities (Critical Rainfall Probabilities)
real time web page http www nws noaa gov ohd hrl hag empe mpn35
Real-time Web Pagehttp://www.nws.noaa.gov/ohd/hrl/hag/empe_mpn/

MPN products

mpn verification are the nowcasts any good
MPN Verification:Are the Nowcasts Any Good?
  • Verification of forecasted instantaneous rain rates and hourly forecast accumulations…
    • Against radar observations (completed)
      • Fulton and Seo (2000)
      • Guan, Ding, Fulton, Kitzmiller (2005)
    • Against rain gauge observations (in progress)

Fulton and Seo, 2000: A prototype operational 0-1 hour radar-based Flash Flood Potential algorithm. 15th Hydrology Conference.

Guan, Ding, Fulton, Kitzmiller, 2005: Preliminary results for the 0-1 hour Multisensor Precipitation Nowcaster. 32nd Radar Meteorology Conference.

mpn forecast verification against radar rainfall observations 1 hr rainfall
MPN Forecast Verification Against Radar Rainfall Observations: 1-hr Rainfall

27 historical flash flood events examined from 18 locations around the U.S. over ten years

+77%

+106%

-43%

Statistics computed on HRAP grid

mpn forecast verification against radar rainfall observations 1 hr rainfall40
MPN Forecast Verification Against Radar Rainfall Observations: 1-hr Rainfall

Bias=

Σ(fcst rain)/Σ(obs rain)

Rain gauge data was not used

using rainfall nowcasts in a distributed hydrologic forecast model hl rdm
Using Rainfall Nowcasts in a Distributed Hydrologic Forecast Model (HL-RDM)
  • Forecast hydrographs using 1-hr MPN rain nowcasts are consistently better than assuming zero QPF based on 9 intense rain events
    • Reed, Fulton, Zhang, Guan (2006)
  • Demonstrated potential flash flood lead time gained
  • A component of S. Reed’s HOSIP project “Distributed Hydrologic Modeling for Flash Flood Forecasting”
  • Potential for use in Site Specific Hydrologic Predictor (SSHP)
  • Potential for linking hydro forecasts to high-res GIS-based flood inundation mapping capabilities for emergency managers

Reed, Fulton, Zhang, Guan, 2006: Use of 4-km, 1-hr precipitation forecasts to drive a distributed hydrologic model for flash flood prediction. 20th Hydrology Conference.

slide42
Hydrograph Forecast Accuracy at Different Lead Times (Reed et al. 2006)
  • Lead times are computed relative to the simulated peak time.
  • All results shown are for CAVESP (90 km2) and single Event (7/2004)

Lead Time = 2 hrs

Forecast

time

Lead Time = 4 hrs

Forecast

time

Peak errors of different forecasts relative to simulated flows as a function of lead time

Lead Time = 3 hrs

Forecast

time

Lead time gained over zero QPF

slide43
Historical Performance of NWS Flash Flood Warning Lead Time

NEXRAD

Implementation

FFMP

Implementation

slide44
Recent and Projected WFO Flash Flood Warning Performance
  • Flash Flood Warning verification statistics are based on product issuance information and confirmation of actual flash floods by the local WFOs
    • Flash Flood Warning Lead Time
    • Flash Flood Warning Accuracy

EMPE and MPN, when integrated with other WFO hydrology tools, have the potential to greatly increase future performance

an integrated future vision for qpe qpn
An Integrated Future Vision for QPE/QPN

ORPG

AWIPS

AWIPS

*

*

*

*

HCA

(REC)

Satellite

QPE

  • Enhanced
  • MPE
  • Multi-radar
  • Multisensor
  • - Probabilistic
  • ¼ HRAP (1 km)
  • 5-60 min. rain
  • durations
  • - 5-15 min. updates

Satellite

QPN

  • MPN
  • 1-3 hr rainfall
  • nowcasts
  • - HRAP (4 km)
  • Multi-radar
  • Multisensor
  • - Probabilistic
  • - 5-15 min. update

Enhanced

PPS

- Single radar

- Polarimetric

- Probabilistic

- ¼ km x ½ deg

- 4 min. updates

*

RCA

NWP

Forecasts

NWP

Analyses

*

CSSA

Rain

Gauges

Short-term

Deterministic Rainfall

Nowcasts +

Uncertainty Info

*

Deterministic

Radar-only QPE

+ Uncertainty

Info

Deterministic

Multisensor QPE

+ Uncertainty

Info

Auto-QC

AWIPS

*

AWIPS

PQPE Bias

& Uncertainty

Processor

(Radar-only + Multisensor)

PQPN Bias &

Uncertainty

Processor

QC Rain

Gauges

AWIPS

Distrib./Ensemble

Hydro. Models,

E-FFMP

Current

5 Yrs

External

Users

10 Yrs

*

= Current HOSIP Projects in Hydromet Group

conclusion
Conclusion
  • The Enhanced Multisensor Precipitation Estimator and Nowcaster can enable improved WFO performance results and new diverse flash flood services
for more information on activities to improve wsr 88d rainfall estimation in the hydrology lab
For more information on activities to improve WSR-88D rainfall estimation in the Hydrology Lab…
  • Visit the Hydromet Group’s web page
    • http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hrl/hag/hag.htm
  • Visit our WSR-88D publications web page
    • http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hrl/papers/papers.htm#wsr88d
    • All the papers referenced herein are located there

The End

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